Back in April, the Sony firmware update roadmap featured some details about the next firmware update for the Sony FS5 such as continuous slow-motion of 120 frames per second in Full HD as well as the addition of Hybrid Log Gamma HDR in camera profile for quick HDR delivery. Firmware version 4.0 for the Sony FS5 has just been officially released; FS5 users can download it from the Sony UK website here. *US Link – here.
While the new 120fps continuous slow-motion option in 1080p is certainly a huge addition to the already very capable 4K camcorder, it will require a separate paid license (CBKZ-FS5HFR, which is priced at $499 in the US) in order for the new slow motion frame rate to be selectable in your camera’s menu. At the moment, prior to Firmware 4.0, the Sony FS5 was limited to 1080/50/60 continuous slow-mo in camera.
Another interesting addition in the upcoming firmware v4.0 for the FS5 will be the ability to change the native (minimum ISO) from ISO 3,200 (the current ISO for Slog3/S-log2) to ISO 2,000, which much more manageable in harsh daytime exteriors.
The Sony FS5 is equipped with the excellent Electronic Variable ND, which offers up to 8 stops of ND and can be set to adjust automatically in step-less increments, thus allowing for much smoother exposure adjustments in tricky lighting conditions, but having the option to lower the ISO to 2000 in S-log2 or S-log3 is a major plus.
Sony FS5 Firmware Version 4.0 Details:
- Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) HDR standard in-camera now supported
- HLG is now Picture Profile PP10 (and new Gamma options)
[HLG] – equivalent to ITU-R BT.2100
[HLG1] – provides greater noise suppression than [HLG2]. However, the dynamic range that can be shot is narrower
[HLG2] – balance between dynamic range and noise suppression
[HLG3] – wider dynamic range than [HLG2], but with more noise
- 1080/120fps High Frame Rate (HFR) continuous recording*
- When recording S-Log2/S-Log3 ISO can be lowered from 3200 to 2000.
For those who want a bit more than 100/120fps slow motion, here’s a bit of 200fps super-slow mo I shot in-camera a while back on the Sony FS5.
Sony FS5 EOSHD Pro Color CINEMA – Slow Motion Test from 4K Shooters on Vimeo.
While it is limited to an 8 second buffer the in-camera super slow motion of either 200fps or 240fps (in NTSC) is very useful, and it makes a lot of sense to save the $500 and not buy the new high speed license for the 120fps continuous unless you are really planning on shooting 120fps for a very long time; 240fps in-camera with the buffer translates to about 80 seconds real-time, which for most purposes will be plenty.
The Sony FS5 is now a sub $5K camera thanks to the $1,000 rebate offer going on ($4750 at B&H after the MIR rebate), but I still think it is quite sad that Sony keeps on cranking out new paid updates for the camera, instead of enticing new buyers with free updates.